Pontifications

Pontifications


Porn star dies, Catholic theologian jumps on the grave

posted by David Gibson

Chambers.jpgMarilyn Chambers, who went from the “Ivory Snow” poster mom to star of the porn classic, “Behind the Green Door,” died on Easter Sunday. She was 56. A fulfilling life? She was a mother in ral life it seems, but never fulfilled her dream to crossover into “legit” roles. (She is shown at right in 2000.) 

But Francis Beckwith, former head of the Evangelical Theological Association who recently “re-converted” to Catholicism and now writes at a blog called “What’s Wrong with the World?” isn’t about to let Marilyn Chambers rest in peace.

In a post he derides Chambers as a kind of “community organizer” (he’s apparently referring to group sex scenes in her films, which he may be more familar with than I am) and criticized her obituary for having been written “as if she had actually accomplished something.”

Ms. Chambers, who died young (as is the case with virtually everyone in her “profession”), is portrayed as a cultural trailblazer who enlightened our culture to the “blessings” of anonymous, promiscuous, widely diverse, and videotaped, copulation. For this reason, you will hear no lamenting of the innumerable lives on which her example made chic the infliction of countless miseries. You will not hear of the unborn children killed, the addictions borne and nurtured, the marriages decimated, the offspring abandoned, the spouses betrayed, or even the diseases contracted–spiritual, mental and physical–that her “trailblazing” facilitated.

And he compares the obits about her to the insufficiently reverent treatments of the passing of the Rev. Jerry Falwell. I hadn’t know she died until I saw Beckwith’s post via the First Things blog, which has apparently removed the link.

Welcome back to the church, Professor Beckwith. Requiescat in pace, we like to say of the dead, but also, with the philosophers, de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est.



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Jeff

posted April 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm


So much for striving to be more like Christ. If I remember correctly, in the Gospels, Christ derides people for their weaknesses and sins.
Please note that the above comments are meant with 100% sarcasm. It’s a shame that people need to use our faith in mean spirited ways.



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pagansister

posted April 17, 2009 at 9:09 pm


She’s dead…too early…56. Why does he think his life is any better than her’s was?



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 18, 2009 at 1:21 am


Hi Pagansister,
Hope you’re well.
Beckwith’s analysis is spot on. But there’s a time and place for everything. His timing stinks. Chambers’ compromise derailed her budding career and she paid mightily for it. I hope he offers prayers for Marilyn that are as fervent as his critique of her life.
Be Well.



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pagansister

posted April 18, 2009 at 11:43 am


All is well, in my little corner of the world, thanks for asking. Yes, I agree. Beckwith’s timing certainly does “stink”. He needs to do some major praying.
Hope all is well with you and yours.



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pagansister

posted April 18, 2009 at 11:46 am


Post at 11:43 AM 18 April, for Gerard N.



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Francis Beckwith

posted April 18, 2009 at 3:03 pm


No, it’s still up: http://www.firstthings.com/blog/2009/04/15/beckwith-on-marilyn-chambers-and-jerry-falwell/
I think, David, you’re missing the point of my blog post. It was not to make pronouncements on either the ultimate fate of Ms. Chambers or the Rev. Falwell. In fact, if you read my comments carefully, I am tough on the Rev. Falwell as well. Nevertheless, for all I know both of them could be with Jesus right now sharing a glass of the wine that once was water at Cana.
All I did was bring to the readers’ attention what each did in the here and now, the only place in which either one of us has enough experience by which to issue judgments, however modest and tentative they may or may not be. In a media culture in which Sarah Palin is ridiculed for not aborting Trig, it’s sort of late in the game to appeal to Victorian sensibilities when discussing deceased porn stars.
If decorum is the new decorum, then perhaps CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and MSNBC can lead by example.
There is something ironic when one of the commentators finds my assessment of Ms. Chambers more unseemly than, well, Ms. Chambers. After all, what’s a little blogging between consenting adults?



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DML

posted April 20, 2009 at 11:23 am


This reminds me of two separate accounts of Jesus’ parable of the “first and last.” In Matthew it is “the first will be last…” The Markan evangelist can’t handle this, its too tough, so probably to spare himself and others in the early hierarchy, it is changed to “but many who are first will be last…”
Mr. Beckwith is trying to do the same.
Any good theologian should be familiar with the fact that tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the Kingdom before they will.



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dawnspromise

posted April 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm


Any good theologian should be familiar with the fact that tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the Kingdom before they will.
amen



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JaimeK

posted April 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm


“If decorum is the new decorum, then perhaps CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and MSNBC can lead by example.”
Well, how about Mr. Beckwith, that you not look to the mainstream news media to lead by example, but you yourself, sir, learn decorum and lead by example? Judging is never pretty and it matters not what organization you come from. As a progressive people you would think we would have this figured out by now.



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Jadrian

posted April 25, 2009 at 6:55 pm


Rod Dreher, who writes a blog that appears somewhere on the web, was not exactly sympathetic to the woman either.



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